Leonard R Budd, Jr. U.S. Marine Corps 1965-1973 Cold War 1965-1973 Vietnam War 1967-1973 (POW) born October 15, 1946
Sergeant Leonard “Lenny” Budd was deployed to South Vietnam, where he served with Company C, 9th Motor Transport Battalion of the 3rd Marine Division. During an engagement he was captured by Viet Cong forces. It was 17 months before the Communist announced he was alive. He spent more than five years in captivity in camps in North Vietnam. On December 21, 1968, Lenny’s mother was able to hear a recorded message with her son's voice. Sergeant. Budd would not be released until March 1973.
Lenny headed his welcome home parade riding in a white Cadillac in Rowley in 1973. Governor Saltonstall thanked him for his service and female attendees smothered the veteran with gratitude kisses. A bank book containing $2,000 was gifted to him, and the Jaycees presented him with a plaque honoring him as the outstanding man of the year. Lenny was awarded a Bronze Star Medal for his courage to resist the harsh treatment of his captors and upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
In a phone interview I had with Lenny (now residing in North Carolina), he noted that he was exhausted and overwhelmed that day. He even fell asleep at one point, but he will never forget how his hometown made him feel special. Lenny met his wife, Gail, at that parade and the couple had four children. Lenny lived in the Newburyport, Mass. and worked as a postman with his good friend, Andy Parks.
Leonard R. Budd Bronze Star: The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V" to Sergeant Leonard R. Budd, Jr. (MCSN: 0-2132168), United States Marine Corps, for meritorious service while interned as a Prisoner of War (POW) in Southeast Asia from August 1967 to March 1973. Sergeant Budd's ceaseless efforts by a continuous showing of resistance to the enemy, who ignored all international agreements concerning treatment of POW's, demonstrated professional competence, unwavering devotion and loyalty to the United States. Resisting the harsh treatment of his captors, Sergeant Budd was instrumental in maintaining the system of communications established by the prisoners. By so doing, he fostered the morale of his fellow POW's and solidified their efforts to resist the attempts of the enemy to attain dominance over them. Sergeant Budd's adherence to the Code of Conduct and overall exemplary performance reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. (Sergeant Budd is authorized to wear the Combat "V".) Sergeant Leonard R. Budd, Jr. (MCSN: 0-2132168), United States Marine Corps, was held as a Prisoner of War in Southeast Asia from August 21, 1967 until his release on March 5, 1973.